Have you thought about what your estate will look like in the future and that a solid foundation is critical for a well written Wisconsin estate plan? Remember, your estate includes not only your wealth, for example: your home and retirement accounts and investments, but equally important it also includes your health and the plans you have for your legacy.  With the assistance of your Wisconsin estate planning attorney, you can be confident that you have created the best possible estate plan for yourself and your family, but if you did not choose the right fiduciary, your estate plan may not reach the goals you had intended.

In your Wisconsin estate plan, what is the role of the fiduciary? The fiduciary is the individual you choose to work with your Wisconsin attorney to be sure that your plans are put into action. Selecting a good fiduciary is not difficult, but keep in mind that it should not be a popularity contest within your family.  Your fiduciary will have an important role and must have the skills to accomplish your goals. 

Your fiduciary should be able to help you manage your wealth, invest wisely and reduce waste and costs. Your fiduciary will also help your estate focus on your legacy goals. In fact, a competent fiduciary should be able to protect what you have now, and even continue to build it when he or she takes over.  As you can see, it is critical to find a good fiduciary to take over at a time when you cannot act for yourself.

Now that you know you need to find a good fiduciary, how do you identify someone?  Are there certain characteristics and traits you should look for?  In the following, we would like to share some important considerations with you including:

  • Knows personal financial planning goals 
  • Posses significant management and investment experience
  • Experienced in your specific type of assets
  • Able to generate reports, accountings, and management assessments
  • Understands tax planning and charitable planning goals
  • Can be bonded, if needed
  • Is available to act when called upon to do so
  • If requested, can provide tax and retirement planning help
  • Will manage at a set cost that does not sporadically change 
  • Will stick to the legacy planning goals of the trust
  • Understands the value of working with your Wisconsin estate planning attorney 

The above are just a few of the important considerations that need to be made when you begin to consider who should act as the fiduciary of your Wisconsin estate plan. 

In addition to choosing the fiduciary who will handle the management of your Wisconsin estate, it is also important to consider the decision maker you want in charge of your health care and day to day needs. Your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney will be able to discuss the distinctions, as well as the planning concepts, with you in your meetings.

We know this blog may raise more questions than it answers. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.